Case Study: Durham University



Founded in 1832, Durham University Business School (DUBS) is ranked in the top 100 universities in the world. Consisting of 16 colleges, 25 departments and over 175,000 students, Durham University’s international alumni spans over 100 countries worldwide.

Previously, Durham University focused their student recruitment efforts on physical open days, however, with the increasing popularity of virtual events they decided to host a Virtual Open Day to extend their global reach and increase student registrations.

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The Challenge

Durham University Business School wanted to ensure that their Virtual Open Day replicated one of their physical open days in an online environment, without compromising professional quality.

Despite taking their traditional open days online, DUBS was determined to provide prospective students with every opportunity to experience the lifestyle and study programmes offered by the university. This was to ensure all prospective students, regardless of their geographic location, received a similar open day experience - so they could make more informed decisions when choosing a university to attend.

Virtual Open Days

The Goal

The main goal for Durham University Business School’s Virtual Open Day was to break down geographical barriers, and extend their reach to prospective students around the UK and internationally.

Additionally, DUBS’ aims for the Virtual Open Day included:

  • Amplify student recruitment and improve the overall pre-application process for prospective students
  • Create a high quality, multi-session virtual event 
  • Run live video presentations and showcase various courses offered by the university, simultaneously within the same event
  • Collect in-depth engagement data from the virtual event to better understand motivations and preferences of prospective students
  • Engage and interact with students directly in a more meaningful way using live chat and Q&A features
  • Creating a concrete sense of place and brand through branding 

How we Helped


The university completed in-house filming of the Durham University’s Queen’s Campus to create 16 individual event sessions that spanned topics - from finance to accounting - so that students could easily move from session to session.

Talking Head Footage

WorkCast helped DUBS to create talking head footage, paired with live Q&A functionality, to provide attendees with an immersive experience of courses offered and the full student experience.

Content & Resources

A resource page was created within the WorkCast platform to house relevant programmes, course information, links and presentation slides, so that attendees could engage with the university long after the event. 


Creating a concrete sense of place and brand was key to the success of the Virtual Open Day, so the university leveraged WorkCast’s branding capabilities to create a fully branded experience from start to finish. 

Data & Analytics

DUBS utilized WorkCast’s in-built reporting functionality to monitor attendee engagement in real-time and measure the success of the event itself. This allowed them to track individual event performance in granular detail, such as judging the level of engagement in each session, rather than overall. 

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The Result

Durham University Business School exceeded their registration target by 36% with their Virtual Open Day and over 60% of registrants engaged with the event (which is about the industry average).

DUBS were also able to extend their global reach, as they were able to determine that 26.5% of registrants were international students (i.e. outside the UK and EU), which was deemed a success by the institution.



International Student Attendees
Registration Target Exceeded By
Viewers to Questions Asked
"The technology used for the open day was outstanding and easy to use."

Clare Smiles-Harrison
Head of Student Recruitment, Durham University

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